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Psychological care of LGBT clients

A description of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender clients. Describe at least two techniques and/or skills that you would use when working with clients from that group or culture. Finally, explain challenges you might encounter as you examine your own values, biases, and attitudes about this group or culture and how you would address these challenges.

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Before one can achieve competency in the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) populations one must understand the experiences and conditions which are relevant to LGBT community. The practitioner must use the appropriate terms and references when dealing with LGBT and although a term like homosexual is correct (not wrong) it typically connotes that the individual is primarily driven by sex alone. However, it is advised that the practitioner avoid this type of label because of the psychopathological connotations ascribed to the word in early editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1)

A bisexual identity refers to affection and sexual interest in both men and women. Interest in one gender or another may be manifest serially or simultaneously. The term sexual orientation is used to describe this behavioral predisposition. Yet, as noted, lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals also experience an affection orientation--acknowledging attraction that is not exclusively based on sex. More inclusive of both the sexual and the affection dimensions of self is the term sexual identity. Even when these terms are defined clearly, debate remains as to how sexual identity is developed. Additionally, research has developed to indicate that LGBT seek psychotherapy at a higher rate than non-LGBT populations.(2)

Central to any counseling intervention with LGB clients (or those questioning their sexual identity) is assisting them to establish or reestablish intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. Marginalized as a function of heterosexism, LGB clients often ...

Solution Summary

A bisexual identity refers to affection and sexual interest in both men and women. Interest in one gender or another may be manifest serially or simultaneously. The term sexual orientation is used to describe this behavioral predisposition. Yet, as noted, lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals also experience an affection orientation--acknowledging attraction that is not exclusively based on sex. More inclusive of both the sexual and the affection dimensions of self is the term sexual identity. Even when these terms are defined clearly, debate remains as to how sexual identity is developed. Additionally, research has developed to indicate that LGBT seek psychotherapy at a higher rate than non-LGBT populations.

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